To flesh out our coverage of Tennis Europe events at U16, U14 and U12 level, we’re producing a new fortnightly feature each Monday, which summarises the young Brits in action across Europe at Category 1, 2 & 3 events.
With no Brits entered into U16 events in Week 12, the best viewing was in Finland at the Category 3 Pajulahti Tournament in Finland. Despite there being just one Brit in action, fourth seed Peter Alam took the event by storm by picking up an amazing title, dropping just one set all tournament. The first two rounds were navigated with relative ease, before the Brit came up against seventh seed Iiro Vasa of Finland in the quarter-finals. Alam dropped the first set but rallied for a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory, befiore battling past the eighth seed in the semis and easing to a 6-1 6-3 victory in the final against second seed Zsombor Velcz of Hungary.
There were other Brits in action elsewhere in Europe, though, with the most success coming in Iceland at the Category 3 WOW Air Open. Unseeded Frederick Withers defeated the third seed en route to a semi-final berth, while second seed Sam Bossem also made the semis before being defeated by American sixth seed Filipe Costa. Luca McManus also made the last 16, while Sammy Ralston was beaten in the first round. In the Girls’ draw, there were also four Brits in action, with unseeded Isabella Nunez battling through to the semi-finals, having beaten the second seed in the first round. Jessica Dhome-Casanova, Charlotte Howard and fourth seed Freia Lawrence were all beaten in the first round.
There was a Category 1 event this week as well, which attracted a handful of our higher-ranked Brits, although provided less success. The Taca International Maia Jovem in Portugal saw male qualifier Ali Hassan and girls Amarni Banks and Annali Olivelle reach the last 16. Meanwhile, 14th seed Benjamin Heynold fell in the second round alongside qualifier Eleanor Baglow, while qualifier Daniel Webb and Derrick Chen both fell in round one.
There was one notable U12 performance at the Braga Open Category 3 event, also in Portugal. Mila Burek lost 6-4 6-4 to Mafalda Guedes of Portugal in the first round.
Only the week just gone saw Brits in action at U16 level on the Tennis Europe tour, with four Brits in action at the WOW Air Open in Kopavogur, Iceland, a Category 3 event. In the Boys’ event, fifth seed Sam Bossem moved up an age group and made the quarter-finals, but the real story was in the Girls event: Annali Olivelle, seeded fourth, came through relatively unchallenged until the final, where she toppled third seed Fanni Gecsek of Hungary 7-6(4) 1-6 7-5 to claim the title. Erika Dodridge also reached the quarter-finals before the top seed got the better of her in three sets, while Isabella Nunez reached the last 16, being beaten by eventual finalist Gecsek. Dodridge and Olivelle also won the doubles event.
The rest of the action was confined to the gents, with an U14 Category 3 event in Heraklion, Greece. Peter Alam made the trek down from Finland to construct another great run, losing in the semi-finals to seventh seed Biagio Gramaticopolo of Italy, while William Nolan and qualifier Harry Cookson both won first round matches before being beaten in the last 16.
Outside of Europe
There were a couple of events taking place outside of Europe with young Brits involved as well: Week 12 saw Amelia Dickson take part in the Barbados Junior International Tournament in, you guessed it, Barbados, at U14 level. The Brit came through a round-robin group stage and won her first knockout match before falling in the quarter-finals to Barbadian Alesha Alleyne. The following week, three Brits took part in a similar U14 event in Trinidad and Tobago,with Samuel West progressing through the group stages and into the final. The results of the final are yet to be revealed.